Friday, March 04, 2022

Proposal: Toestub

Timed out 2 votes to 1. Enacted by Kevan.

Adminned at 06 Mar 2022 10:36:31 UTC

To the second paragraph of “Parallel Dynastic Histories”, add:

Apart from the list of active Players in a dynasty, all content on a parallel dynasty’s history page is flavour text.

So far as I can see, the lists of player names are the only thing that we want the ruleset to interpret from dynastic history pages, at the moment.

The rest (including unpredictable but influenceable GPT rambles and freely-chosen Player/Emperor terms) would be safer if considered to be meaningless flavour text by default. We can plug them deliberately into the ruleset later if we want to have the game mechanics care about what they say.


Josh: he/they

04-03-2022 10:46:50 UTC

I’ll be voting against this; it doesn’t seem fun to me to take the central mechanic of the dynasty and lock it away where it can’t hurt anyone.

Kevan: City he/him

04-03-2022 11:03:00 UTC

I hadn’t seen this as changing the central mechanic at all, just drawing a line between which sentences are technical aspects of the game and which are just fun narrative stuff.

It’s a poll on whether we want to stay alert for text injection scams where the GPT might happen to say “Arturo has 100 coins” or a player decide that “the 100-Coin-Haver” was a good term for an Emperor. And whether we want to pause the game and fix things whenever the GPT comes out with something that, on a close reading, makes a bold enough contradictory claim about the gamestate that we aren’t sure how to handle it.

Josh: he/they

04-03-2022 15:17:31 UTC


I don’t think I recognise a line between “technical aspects of the game and which are just fun narrative stuff”; I’m hoping that the gun narrative stuff also operates as a technical aspect of the game.

Kevan: City he/him

04-03-2022 16:12:48 UTC

If all narrative text is recognised as gamestate, that gives us a gamut of gameplay from interesting “coaxing a GPT to say a certain thing” stuff to flat-out game-ending text injection scams. And the most effective move by far will always be the latter, to work out what plausible phrase and/or wiki markup will let you win immediately when injected as a Player/Emperor/Noun term.

Foregrounding text injection is going to cast a deep shadow over everything else this dynasty. I can certainly play that game, but I’m not going to sink much time into the contemplation of Cresi Cube energy and the building of other rules, if the main mechanic is “but what noun phrase lets you win instantly when injected”.

Josh: he/they

04-03-2022 16:47:19 UTC

I guess I’m having a hard time visualising what that would look like, given Tiebreaker, and the lack of an extant Victory mechanism. I mean, none of the GPT mechanics are or can be actual text injection, right? The most they can be is gamestate that coincidentally matches up with ruletext that was enacted the traditional way, but the ruleset itself is effective isolated, isn’t it?

(That last question is the key one for me; I’ll sign on to anything if there is an actual risk of ruleset text injection, but I don’t see one…)

Kevan: City he/him

04-03-2022 17:10:42 UTC

Just regular scam stuff, where the fact that a piece of gamestate is changed to say something that nobody was expecting it to say makes an existing rule ambiguous.

Random undramatic example from the current ruleset: “If there is an In Front Maestro Team Member, any Maestro Team Member who is not that Maestro Team Member may…” If I update the gamestate to say that the Emperor of the Towering Inferno Dynasty was called the In Front Maestro Team Member, then there’s an argument to be made that that clause is now always switched on.

I’m not concerned that a GPT history page could create legally binding ruletext, all by itself, only that it could make a surprising gamestate statement which a rule would then take at face value when checking whether something was true or false.

Josh: he/they

05-03-2022 17:06:08 UTC

I take your point. That leaves my against view a matter of personal preference, then, as having the gpt spit out meaningful values seems like the kind of Josh-6-esque fun chaos that I live for as emperor

Lulu: she/her

05-03-2022 17:35:16 UTC


Kevan: City he/him

05-03-2022 17:42:21 UTC

[Josh] I’m not talking about the GPT content, though. Your proposed Toebreaker mechanic gives a player free choice of an old rule, fairly free choice of what nouns to change its nouns to, and renders all of that directly into gamestate.

I could go for making just the GPT output gamestate, in a reckless Brendan kind of way where we might-but-probably-won’t have to fight our way out of the GPT somehow announcing a fundamental rule paradox. But making text injection the default base game doesn’t sound much fun to me, it sounds like an enacting admin, who may or may not be me, just winning immediately one morning.

Josh: he/they

05-03-2022 18:12:39 UTC

@Kevan I’m fine with targeted restrictions on emperor terms or selection of nouns; the initial rule was only a starting place, deliberately introduced when there’s no VC so the stakes are low-ish. Too much baby in this bathwater for me though.

Kevan: City he/him

05-03-2022 19:04:21 UTC

Sure, we can and should put things back into the bath afterwards. It’s just clearer to empty it and decide what we want in there than to say that everything starts in the bath until we think to take it out.